Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moved my blog!

I have moved my blog to - please update your favorites, and join me over there!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cyber Stalking

The Wall Street Journal reports that GPS technology in cell phones and location services on social networking is making it much easier for stalkers to track their victims.

The report mentions that those who are most at risk to be stalking victims, 18-24 year olds, is the same demographic that uses technology such as social networking. The majority of stalking victims know their stalkers, and thus would be connected with them, even if they are not directly "friends", on their social networks.

Please take a few moments to watch this video. Then,make sure you check your settings on your cell phone and social networking page, and make use of the "block" feature on Facebook when needed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Americans Do Online

Nielson has a released a new report called What Americans Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity Nielsen Wire. One of the most interesting facts to come from this report is that social networking has not only become the #1 activity on the web, this report indicates that it has a full 25% share of our online time.

Some other interesting facts to come from this report are:

* Online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used activity behind social networks – accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. Internet time. Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent.

* June 2010 was a major milestone for U.S. online video as the number of videos streamed passed the 10 billion mark. The average American consumer streaming online video spent 3 hours 15 minutes doing so during the month.

* Email remains as the third heaviest activity online (8.3 percent share of time) while instant messaging is fifth, accounting for four percent of Americans online time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

10 Golden Rules

Germany’s consumer minister has recently called for the creation of the "Internet’s 10 Golden Rules”. As I was considering this concept, I thought I would write my own personal list. Here is what I came up with.

Ken Knapton’s 10 Golden Rules of Internet Usage
  1. Be respectful. When responding to others online, I will always show respect and will not degrade or demean. I will live by the mantra that “It is OK to disagree, but it is not OK to be disagreeable”.
  2. Be kind. I will be kind to all with whom I interact online. I will not use technology to bully, harass, or otherwise degrade or demean others.
  3. Be myself. My online identity will be a realistic representation of who I am. Someone who knows me online would not be surprised to meet me in person – I am the same person in the physical world, with the same passions, skills, and experiences as I am online. I will not portray myself as someone I am not.
  4. Be accountable. I will take ownership and responsibility for all of my comments, posts and interactions on line. I will not hide behind anonymity, screen names, or other mechanisms to try and hide my online interactions. I will not use technology to participate in any activity that I would not want my children, spouse, ecclesiastical leader or anyone else to observe.
  5. Be lawful. I will respect the law online as I do in the physical world. I will not use technology to participate in anything that is illegal or immoral.
  6. Speak up. I will join the conversation, and share - not force – my opinions and views on blogs, news stories, and other online media. I will allow those who want to find me to do so – I will not force my content, opinions or judgments on anyone else.
  7. Do no harm. I will not encourage others to participate in any online interactions that would cause them harm. I will not participate in any online interactions that would cause others harm, put them in danger, or cause disruption to their livelihood or family.
  8. Strike a balance. I will not allow virtual interactions to take an inordinate amount of time or attention away from my other “real” interactions and relationships. I will not use technology as a time-waster. I will use technology to enhance “real” relationships – not to harm them.
  9. Show integrity. I will show a high level of integrity in all of my interactions – whether online or in the physical world.
  10. Use good judgment. I will not forward emails in the hope of getting a check from Bill Gates, helping some poor child in a third-world country, or seeing something “cool” on my screen. I will not open attachments from people I don’t know. I will not try to accumulate “friends” on my social networks just to get a big number, but instead I will be judicious in my choice of whom I communicate with online, and how I manage my online interactions. I will protect my identity, my data and my relationships.
So, now you know my personal 10 Golden Rules of Internet Usage. If you agree with these, and would like to add your name to this list, feel free to leave a comment agreeing with this list. If you disagree, think I missed something, or want to share your own list, feel free to leave a comment to that effect as well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Education is key

In the June issue of the Ensign there is an article entitled Education is Key to Protecting Families from Pornography. The article passes along several of the suggestions I offered to parents at the Protecting Children and Families from Pornography and Other Harmful Materials conference eariler this year. Please take a moment to follow the link above and read the article!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Technology as a Tool

One of the points that I try to make when I speak on Cyber Safety is that technology itself is neither good nor bad - the morality of technology comes in how that technology is used.

I had a perfect example of this recently. I was speaking in Salt Lake, about 45 miles from my home, and when I got back in my car to drive to my next engagment, I couldn't turn the key to start my car. Evidently, the tumblers in my ignition column decided they were tired of tumbling, and wanted a permanent rest. After coming to the realization that no amount of fidling with the key would get it to turn, I gave up and called my wife to come rescue me. We left my car in Salt Lake City, returned home, and apologized profusely for missing a speaking engagement (that is probably the worst part of this for me, but that is not the point of this post).

Since the next day was a holiday, I knew that I wouldn't be able to get the car fixed for at least one more day. I really didn't want to leave it on the street, and worried about how to fix it so far away from my house. I knew that we couldn't tow it home because I have to turn the key in order to get the car out of park, so we were pretty much stuck. Being the "computer geek" that my wife frequently reminds me that I am, I decided to turn to the Internet to see if anyone had been thoughtful enough to post instructions about how to hotwire a car. Sure enough, I quickly found step-by-step instructions. I returned to my car, followed the instructions and was soon on the road returning my car to our driveway to be fixed sometime in the future.

Prior to this incident, had I run across instructions online about how to hotwire a car, my first thoughts would have been about how this information contributes to the deliquency of minors, and teaches kids how to embark on a life of crime. While there still may be an element of truth to that sentiment, I am grateful to have found the information I needed to assist in a very valid need of getting my property back to my own home. People who want to steal cars will figure out how to do it, with or without the Internet. The fact that instructions are posted online is not in-and-of-itself evil.

As I continue to say, the Internet is neither good nor bad - it simply "is". How we use the information we come across on the Internet is where we put that information to good use or evil use. The ethics and morality of how we use technology is completely in our own hands. It is important to remember that, since there are not many things that you cannot find out about on the information superhighway today. It is even more important to teach our children this concept so they understand how to use technology as a tool to help uplift, and not to drag down.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

7 Ways to Reduce Online Dangers

Education Tech news today listed 7 ways to help educate school children about online safety. I am honored to be listed as one of the 7.